Bio-Oil for Dogs?

Over the past few years, a number of health care products intended for humans have found their way into use for dogs. However, before you use any product intended for human use on your dog, be sure to talk to your veterinarian. Bio-Oil has become extremely popular for humans searching for a way to reduce the effects of stretch marks and many other forms of skin damage. But, before you start using it on your dog, there are a number of things you need to consider.

The Chemicals in Bio-Oil
There are several substances contained in bio-oil that you should be aware of, all of which can have adverse effects on your dog.

Mineral Oil
The first ingredient of note is mineral oil, which is a petroleum byproduct. In order for a skin restoration product to be effective, it has to be able to penetrate through multiple layers of skin. However, the mineral oil forms a "protective" layer on the outside of the skin that will not allow any other healing ingredients to penetrate the skin. This layer will also trap any number of toxins underneath it and prevent vital air from circulating around important areas of your dog's body, including his cracked paw pads, his nose, and any hotspots.

BHT has been found to cause a wide range of toxic effects on lab animals, including allergies, cancer, and immunotoxicity. BHT is used as a preservative to stabilize the oil and ensure it does not become rancid. What you might find strange, is that many countries around the world have banned the use of BHT in products intended to be used by humans. Despite this, the U.S. continues to allow its use in many personal care products and processed foods for both humans and animals, including bio-oils.

What About Ingesting Bio-Oil?

Bio-oil is not considered to be toxic and is a product designed for topical use and not be ingested. Be aware, however, if you use it on your dog, it is highly likely that he will lick it off and end up ingesting it. As bio-oil is a petroleum-based product, ingesting it can lead to an upset stomach, diarrhea, and excessive water consumption, and you may see your dog eating grass in an attempt to cause vomiting that will get it out of his stomach.

If you have been using bio-oil on your dog, consider finding a product that is intended for use on animals. If you believe your dog has ingested bio-oil, you should contact your vet. He may ask you to bring your pup in for a full examination including blood tests to ensure he has not ingested toxic amounts that could lead to further medical problems.

Other Options

Choose products made specifically for use on dogs that do not include BHT or mineral oil in their ingredients. There are natural organic products that contain glycine max seed oil, Melaleuca cajuputi oil, or Elaeis guineensis seed oil. All of these oils are easily absorbed through the skin without leaving any residue behind and have been proven to be very effective in helping your dog's skin to heal.

The bottom line is that the risks of using Bio-Oil on your dog far outweigh any possible benefits of its use. More importantly, before you use any skin care products on your dog, consult with your vet to make sure they are safe.

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